Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, IT technology has continued to grow and evolve. Things that were on the fringe just a few years ago, like the cloud, artificial intelligence, and machine learning, are not only household words now, but they are everywhere.
Many of these technologies have proven to be the key to business continuity, as society has adjusted to the “new normal” of a hybrid workforce that works from home at times.
Here are some of the key tech trends we expect to see gaining further ground in 2022 and beyond.
We’ve seen appliances and devices being called “smart” for years now, but in 2021, “smart” means a lot more than simply “connected to the internet”.
Thanks to advances in AI research and the increases we’re seeing in the processing power of computers, the electronic devices and machines humans use every day operate more effectively than ever before. They can even do things on their own that previously required human intervention.
Think smart cars that can drive on their own, diagnostic medical machines that can detect signs of disease in scans well before human doctors can, advanced digital personal assistants that respond to natural voice commands, robotic process automation tools that make common business tasks easier and faster – all of these things use some form of artificial intelligence to do what they do, only better.
So, no matter what job you do or industry you find yourself in, chances are that some part of your job is being enhanced by AI in some way.
And these are examples of things that are already in existence.
In 2022 and beyond, expect this to only increase as other advancements in areas like super-fast 5G networks, the Internet of Things, and data analysis continue to converge, offering humanity greater capabilities in many areas of society than we’ve ever had before.
Everything as a Service
The arrival of the cloud and its widespread and affordable availability has led so much technological innovation in the past decade or so. It’s also removed a lot of the risk involved in trying out new ideas, as it no longer requires companies to invest heavily in infrastructure.
For instance, today anyone with an idea can spin up a virtual machine in the cloud, give it as much storage and RAM as they can afford and power it with as many CPUs as their budget allows, in order to test things out. And the public cloud is now sufficiently mature that it’s possible for businesses to successfully operate in a hybrid cloud environment.
Interestingly, with a shortage of skills in many industries, many companies have been driven to find DIY solutions to some of their challenges. And in the process, they’ve discovered that they can lease the things they need (infrastructure, software products, services) to complete their objectives and no longer need to employ an army of skilled staff to build it all for them.
Being able to lease almost “everything as a service” will likely see even more growth in 2022 and beyond. This will be augmented by the growing availability of “no-code interfaces” which allow people to build useful software solutions without knowledge of any programming languages.
Transparency, governance, and accountability
The arrival of complex computer-driven tools like AI and facial recognition will spur organisations and governments to greater heights of accountability and transparency as the potential impact of those technologies on society becomes more and more apparent.
Already, people are debating the merits and dangers of artificial intelligence, the impact of social media on society, and the use of new detection technologies like facial recognition in public places to name but a few technologies. And nobody knows for sure if AI is going to be a Pandora’s Box that, once opened, can’t be closed. The more conservative among the world’s Technorati are advocating that we extremely cautious about what we do next..
As a result, it’s not unlikely that governments, governing bodies, and even corporations will become more transparent in their use and examination of new technologies in the coming years. We expect greater transparency at the very least as society at large grapples with these questions and tech companies work hard to find the balance between innovation and things that need regulation.
No crystal ball
As reasonable as these trends sound, we are not in possession of a crystal ball and we could be completely wrong about all of this. Future readers, please don’t judge us too harshly.
But as it stands these trends make good sense, and we sincerely hope they do pan out for good and that they contribute significantly towards a better world for all.
Only time will tell.